December 12, 2012
Haase Enjoys Being a Head Coach
Jerod Haase has had a few months in his new job as head coach for UAB's basketball team. The position is new in two ways: It's a new team and a new title. Haase came to UAB after serving as an assistant to the legendary Roy Williams at North Carolina.
How has Haase done in his new role? So far, it's been a mixed baggage on the court. The team currently holds a 5-5 record as it gets ready for a road game with Rutgers and the start of Conference USA competition next month.
Still, it's easy to see that Haase is enjoying his new position. In an interview Wednesday afternoon at Bartow Arena, Haase constantly faces challenges that he's never faced before.
"Every day brings a new challenge," he said, "but I don't think I've had a single day where I felt I was unprepared for the job." He attributes that preparedness to his years of working and training under Roy Williams.
Has he been as successful as he hoped? Somewhat. Haase said he breaks his job into three distinct areas - recruiting, off-the-court, and the on-the-court basketball program.
Recruiting for the future, he says, has been highly successful. He attributes that success mainly to the work of his assistant coaches.
Off-the-court, he has been pleased with the performance of his players both as students and individuals. He believes they have been successful at representing the university in both roles.
On-the-court? He is still working on that, as indicated by the current 5-5 record. He has worked to understand the skills of each player and seeing how they will fit into the scheme he wants to run.
Haase noted that no coach can force players to accept a system for which they feel unsuited. Because of that, he acknowledges that he has adapted his ideal system to fit the talents of the team he puts on the floor. "You have to adapt to your talent without giving up on your approach," he said.
The only problem with his new job, he noted, is that sometimes there are not enough hours in the day. That has been particularly true, he said, because he thinks it's "important to balance my family life."
Still, he believes that UAB has the talent level to be successful using his approach to the game. "They're all capable of playing in the system," Haase said.
Further, if the eyes of an outside observer (this writer) are worth anything, the returning players seem to be enjoying the game much more than last season. Haase says that may be true for the games, but not entirely true for practices.
After all, he prides himself on being demanding. Still, he acknowledged, "I think they enjoy being pushed and being demanding."
And winning. They enjoy winning too.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial